Computers and Their Problems
The virus problems seem to be sorted out, but our internet connection has been intermittent. I hope that is sorted out now; Comcast technicians paid us several visits in the process.
Fertility of Hybrids
Over the years, I've gotten into the habit of assuming that most primary interspecific hybrids in Hippeastrum and Haemanthus are infertile. Fortunately I have started testing that assumption.
I crossed siblings of Hippeastrum [papilio x mandonii] last spring and got a couple of seed pods on one of the plants. Those seeds were planted, and I now have about 20 young seedlings growing in a community pot under fluorescent lights. So these seedlings are the F2 generation of Hippeastrum [papilio x mandonii].
Last month, I crossed three blooming seedlings of Haemanthus [barkerae x coccineus] and [coccineus x barkerae] with each other. (See: August 27, 2010 and Sept 12, 2010.) I got a total of 5 seeds, which are now planted. Two had already sprouted by the time I got them planted. Among the other dozen or more siblings from these two crosses, a few more seeds formed from haphazard open pollination.
I also know that Scadoxus [katherinae x puniceus] are fertile, since I obtained F2 seeds of that cross from South Africa. "Scadoxus katherinae" is more properly called "Scadoxus multiflorus katherinae."
So far, I have not gotten seeds on Haemanthus [humilis hirsutus x coccineus], which cross I call 'Burgundy' (see: September 28, 2009). However, two of the plants are each making an offset. Maybe I will be able to distribute some of this cross someday!
The Season Flowers and Weather
Outdoors, very little is now in bloom. The Sternbergia lutea are flowering, but very sparsely. I think this is due to the drought conditions we have had since July. A few Colchicum are still in bloom as well. None of these flowers look particularly attractive this year. We also had fewer than usual blooms on the hardy Lycoris this year. Indeed, overall, it has been a disappointing bloom season for much of 2010. Dry weather and very windy conditions are the probable villains in this. The flowers we did get all seemed to look a bit tattered almost as soon as they had opened. The 2010 bloom season is winding down to a very weak finish indeed, here.
In the greenhouse, Nerine bowdenii is showing at least one scape already, and the Nerine sarniensis hybrids have bloomed some. It's still a bit early for the bowdenii to bloom, so there may be more coming. The final flowers of the winter will be Nerine undulata and the Lachenalia. After that, we will be looking toward Spring.
We were expecting a freeze overnight, but it looks as if we only got another light frost. That's alright with me; I'm sure we'll get plenty of freezes soon enough. The local (in the Midwest) long range forecast for the winter (the next three months) is for warmer than usual temperatures and more precipitation than usual. We certainly need to replenish ground water, and saving a bit on heating bills would be nice!
Good gardening, from here in central Indiana
Look up technical terms in the Glossary of Plant Biology